Box of Horror

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Todd & The Book of Pure Evil and Psychoville in FEARnet’s twisted comedy block

Next week you better tune into FEARnet, as they’ll launch their new “Twisted Comedy” block, airing on August 2 at 10pm/est. The block will consist of two series – Todd & The Book of Pure Evil and Psychoville – two wonderfully bewildered and weird pieces, which you wouldn’t want to miss.

Since FEARnet has been so kind to let me see the two premiere episodes, you can read my reviews of, Todd & The Book of Pure Evil and Psychoville, below to get a little head-start.

Todd & The Book of Pure Evil Ep. 01 Review

The story:
Todd is your standard looser, who fantasies of becoming a rock star and about Jenny Kolinsky, the hottest girl around. When he stumbles upon a book of awesome powers, making your deepest, darkest desires come true, Todd’s life is up for changes. However, a book like this shouldn’t be in the hands of a teenager . . .

The review:
The episode starts with Todd, daydreaming about Jenny, while he and his naive best friend Curtis, auditioning for the schools Battle of the Bands event, showcasing their mediocre skills, to the audience’s malicious joy.

As Todd, depressed over the audition, smash his guitar into the ground, three strange dudes start talking to him. They tell Todd that if he wants success, then he must seek out The Book of Pure Evil, which the legend says is stitched together with the foreskin of Judas.

Meanwhile, we learn that Jenny is also on the hunt for the book, as she believes it’s an important clue to what happened to her father.

Shortly afterwards, Todd stumbles over the book and it turns out that the book really does help him – to the cost of a measly behavior change. This leads up to a completely enthralling guitar duel between, Todd and his rival Stewart, which is one of the best scenes in this episode, hands down.

Todd and Curtis at the guitar duel

As Jenny understands that Todd has possession over the book, she sets out to get him to understand just how dangerous the book really is, before it’s too late.

Overall, I think that the series does a good job balancing between the comical and the supernatural elements, preventing it from coming off as cheesy. The story, in its swift and straightforward way, is cohering and amusing to follow. Also, the actors do a good job breathing life into the characters, making them feels interesting and three-dimensional.

I think that Todd & The Book of Pure Evil is fierce, striking and from the start, it’s pedal to the metal intensity, with no looking back. All you have to do is to lean back and enjoy the ride.

Todd & The Book of Pure Evil Trailer

To learn more about Todd & The Book of Pure Evil, you can head over to FEARnet.

Psychoville Ep. 01 Review

The story:
Psychoville is an award-winning British series from 2009, which revolves around five, twisted and seemingly unrelated characters, living in different parts of England. When they all receive a mysterious letter, containing just one phrase, “I know what you did,” their lives go into a downward spiral.

The review:
In the beginning of the episode we get to see a mysterious man, carefully writing five ornament letters, in the light of a black ominous candle. Then an introduction of the characters follows, as they receive their letters we get a glimpse of their twisted lives and own little peculiarities.

The characters are the ones that drive the story forward, holding us spellbound with their twisted life situations. We have Mr. Jelly, a bitter and worn-out clown who’s missing a hand; Joy, a midwife who thinks her practice doll is a real baby; Oscar, a blind eccentric millionaire with a big collection of stuffed animals and Robert, a dwarf actor with telekinesis powers, who’s in love with his Snow White co-actress.

David Sowerbutts in Psychoville

Then we have David Sowerbutts, my absolute favorite character. David is a simple-minded man-child, with a morbid obsession with serial killers, who still lives with mother Maureen, to which he has, to put it mildly, an inappropriate relationship with. David is far from normal, living a truly tragic life, who cannot hold on to a job, something we’ll see plenty of proof of in this episode.

The story is well written and fascinating, focusing on the characters and their wacky mannerisms, in an engrossing way, which make you want to know more about them, their lives and the dark secrets that are surely lurking below the surface.

The acting is flawless and of high standards, with both Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton each play many characters, in an impressive and convincing way, making it a pleasure to watch them.

Psychoville is a series that breaths’ quality, giving us an awe-inspiring story filled with gripping life stories, suspense and psychologic chills, covered with a veil of dark and morbid humor. Once you have seen the first episode, you wouldn’t want to leave Psychoville – ever!

Psychoville Trailer

To learn more about Psychoville, you can head over to FEARnet.

So, whatever you do, don’t forget to tune into FEARnet next Tuesday, for an unforgettable evening with two wonderfully wacky series, which are too good to miss.

SAW 3D Review

After the first Saw movie, which presented something genuine and innovative, I have come to enjoy the sequels, which has for the most part felt like bland copies, mostly for the traps rather than the storylines.

I really hoped that Saw 3D would give me something that was up to par with the first movie, but sadly it felt like the creators once again, stepped right into the repetition trap.

The biggest problem, as I see it, is that the story feels rushed like if they have tried to squeeze two movies into one, which makes it comes off as half-baked, instead of a complete movie.

The story contains too many major characters, elements and references to previous Saw movies, which makes it hard to get a coherent grip of what is really going on.

First there is Bobby Dagen, a man who claims to be a Jigsaw survivor and is now earning a good living from that through his books, but is he really the one he claims to be? Then we have Mark Hoffman, Jigsaw’s wife Jill and the internal affairs’ detective Matt Gibson in something that can be described a deadly cat-and-mouse game.

Having two stories, which doesn’t tie into each other in a logical way, makes the movie a bit baffling to follow. I would rather have seen two movies, one with the Bobby Dagen arc and after that, a movie that ties everything together in an epic Jigsaw way.

That way we could have had two good movies, instead of a just one half-decent movie, that way the poster depicting the gigantic Jigsaw structure would make sense, as well.

The Traps in Saw 3D

Since the first Saw movie, the traps have been the series trademark and biggest assets. Even if a Saw movie has been weak, you could always count on the traps to step in to save the day – like they do this time.

And to be perfectly honest, is it not those gory and limb-ripping traps we look forward to seeing, as we sit down to watch a Saw movie?

Of course it is!

In Saw 3D we can enjoy eleven traps, where some are actually the best and most evil ones to be featured in a Saw movie. Like the garage trap, for instance, where a car is triggered to set of a butchery chain reaction, almost in a Final Destination style.

However, even if the garage trap is disturbingly brutal, it pales in comparison with the fish hook trap, though.

The Fish-Hook Trap

In the fish-hook trap, a woman is strapped to a chair, with sharp metal spikes directed to her neck. In her mouth she has a string, which goes down to her stomach, with a key and a fish-hook attached to its end. To get out of the trap, the string must be pulled up through her mouth, within one minute, or else the spikes will penetrate her. The catch is that if she screams, while the hook tears her esophagus to shreds, the spikes will advance toward her.

With all the traps in the series, the fish-hook trap is my favorite and the only one that have made me squirm in my seat.

The Conclusion

In the end I think that Saw 3D faces a weak baffling storyline and mediocre acting, which the glorious traps cannot save it from completely. Therefore it fails to give us that grand finale we were hoping to see, before the clock runs out!

If you are a Saw fan, chances are that you will enjoy this movie, most for its traps, while others may find the gory traps, wrapped up in a jagged storyline, to be just another repulsive second-rate horror flick.

After all the clocks have run out and the blood has dried, my rating of Saw 3D will be two stars out of five.

Saw 3D Trailer & Details:

Directed by: Kevin Greutert
Written by: Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan
Staring: Tobin Bell, Costas Mandylor, Betsy Russell and Sean Patrick Flanery

The Walking Dead – The First Impression

Over five million viewers tuned in to see the premiere of AMC’s promising and groundbreaking zombie drama The Walking Dead, making it the biggest success in AMC’s history, beating the premiere of HBO’s series, Boardwalk Empire!

Naturally, the president of AMC, Charlie Collier, where very pleased with the success and said that they’re very proud of the series and its depth of storytelling, which he thinks raises the bar within the genre.

I cannot agree more, actually, as the first episode exceeded my expectations by far!

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13: Game of Death (13 game sayawng) – Review

At the moment “Saw 3D” is dominating the box office, with its lethal and sinister traps, which we never seem to get enough of.

Therefore, I thought I would give you a tip of another movie that is quite similar to the concept of the Saw franchise, except its simply more proficient – 13: Game of Death.

“13: Game of Death” is a gritty drama from2006, skillfully created by the Thai director Chukiat Sakveerakul, which has won numerous awards and currently holds an IMDB rating of 6,8. Surprisingly, for some odd reason, it isn’t that known by the majority of horror fans and chances are that you have missed this ghastly gem.

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The Book of Eli Review

After an unspecified war, the world has decayed into a washed-out wasteland, filled with ruthless road gangs and cannibals, constantly on the lookout for wanderers to despoil. It’s here we find Eli, a lone walker heading west, with a quest to bring a holy book, to a place where it’s needed.

When Eli steps into a godforsaken town, and meets its self-proclaimed and merciless leader Carnegie and a conflict arise, about the ownership of the book.

I enjoy post-apocalyptic movies, where the world has gone down the toilet, with a handful of characters desperately finding ways to survive, by picking up the pieces from the past.

One problem, though, with these kinds of movies is the problem of creating a credible world, for the story to play out in, which doesn’t feel artificial or too unrealistic. “The Book of Eli” doesn’t have that problem, quite the opposite. I think that the washed-out scenery, the devastated landscape, the soft grayish light and the dark clouds hurrying past the sky, draws up a genuine picture, of how the world could appear after a disastrous war.

Almost too good, actually.

The intro of the movie is also one of the best I’ve seen, as well. Where cinematographer Don Burgess shows off his skills, in a beautifully filmed scene, which really enhance the post-apocalyptic feeling, which manage stay in our minds, for the reminder of the movie.

The action sequences are also visually appealing, with fierce camera angles and well choreographed fights. Like the one where Eli meets a bunch of ruthless thugs and with the help of a machete and a witty mouth, shows who’s the real bad-ass, in the wastelands.

Even though the story feels one-track minded, focusing much on Eli and his book, the balance between drama and action never allows the movie to get boring, pushing the story forward.

However, the focus on Eli, gives little room for the other characters to develop, which I feel is a minor downside. Denzel Washington is spot on as Eli, using just his distinct presence, assurance and charisma, he portraits a man you know you shouldn’t mess with, just by looking at him.

Gary Oldman plays the slimy and sinister, yet smart Carnegie, a role we have seen him do many times before, with a good amount of self-certainty. Nevertheless, Carnegie never feels alive, besides that one time Oldman fires off his most evil and hypnotic laughter. It would have been fun to see what he could have done, if more room would have been given to him, to elaborate the role.

Mila Kunis is the one who gives the movie a dash of glamor and feminine beauty. Even though her part as Solara isn’t that demanding, she shows that she has evolved as an actor enormously, since the air-headed Jackie in “That ’70s Show”, though.

Overall, the story has enough momentum to be both interesting and engaging, all the way up to its twist, which will get you thinking, but after that it lose much of its momentum and barely manage to stumble across the finishing line, with grace.

In the end, I think that “The Book of Eli”, combines the washed-out landscape, cinematography and drama from “The Road” and “I am Legend” with the savage violence from “Mad Max”, into a fresh post-apocalyptic movie, complete with an absorbing twist, which deserves its place in any movie shelf.

Both the DVD and Blu-ray version of “The Book of Eli” will be available on June 15 on Amazon.com.

My rating of “The Book of Eli”:

3+/5

Photo: © 2009 Warner Bros.

A Scream from the Past – Dreamscape

“Dreamscape” is a Sci-Fi thriller from 1984, directed by Joseph Ruben, which managed to pumped up my imagination to unhealthy levels, the first time I saw it – imagine entering someone’s dream, wow!

However, as a boy at the time, taking over the world was not the first thing that crossed my mind, if I would have possessed these abilities though…

The story center on Alex Gardner (Dennis Quaid), a 19-year-old man, who discovers that he can enter other peoples dreams and experience everything that goes on within them.

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Legion Movie Review

In Legion, God has lost all hope of the humans, and with the help of his army of angels, he decides to bring down the apocalypse upon us. However, the archangel Michael, hasn’t lost his hope, so he deserts from the army and heads down to earth, trying to save the only hope we have left – an unborn child.

Scott Stewart’s directing debut, from his own script, has all the components that makes a grand and epic movie, a solid cast (Paul Bettany, Lucas Black, Charles S. Dutton, Tyrese Gibson, Dennis Quaid, Adrianne Palicki, and Kevin Durand), a God with no hope, hostile angels, the apocalypse and an unborn child.

Nevertheless, instead of being a fierce and action packed “Clash of the Angels”, Legion becomes just a disappointing little bump.

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A Scream from the Past – The Fifth Floor (1978)

Today, I thought that I should start a post series about the horror movies that both amazed and scared me senseless, as I grew up and got me hooked to this stunning genre.

The first movie that I remember is, The Fifth Floor from 1978, with Bo Hopkins and Diane Hull in the leads. I recall that it prevented me to sleep, visit the basement or the shed on our backyard, for a very long time.

The plot revolves around a young woman, named Kelly McIntyre (Dianne Hull) who collapses at a bar.

Unaware that Kelly has been poisoned, in an attempt to cover up a murder, her doctor and boyfriend assumes that she’s crazy and admits her to the fifth floor, an asylum with heavily disturb patients and questionable nurturers.

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Case 39 Review

In the horror movie Case 39, directed by Christian Alvart the man behind Pandorum and penned by Ray Wright, we see Renée Zellweger play a role that is far away from the usual feel-good and drama movies that we’re used to seeing her in, which unfortunately, is noticeable in this film.

The story, in Case 39, follows the social worker Emily Jenkins (Zellweger) who, overwhelmed with work, gets another case on her desk, case 39. That case is about a sweet girl named Lillith Sullivan (Jodelle Ferland), whose school has filed a report, where they express their concern about her wellbeing.

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Eight Legged Freaks Review

Eight Legged Freaks, is quite a charming monster movie from 2002, signed by the “They Nest” director Ellory Elkayem, whom both penned and directed.

Notable is that my favorite doomsday director, Roland Emmerich, was the executive producer for this movie. The main cast consists of David Arquette (Scream), Kari Wuhrer, Scott Terra and Scarlett Johansson.

The story is set in a slow and lazy mining town, somewhere in Arizona, who has seen better days. In the opening scenes, we see a truck driver lose a barrel of toxic waste, while he avoids running over a rabbit. The barrel rolls down and lands in a small pond, where it starts to leak out its hazardous substance.

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